Massena 1980-’89 classes plan mega-reunion, party

MASSENA — It’s destined to be a huge class get-together in Massena when the Massena Central classes of 1980 through 1989 throw a mega-reunion and block party the weekend of Aug. 5.

Lori Collins, one of the organizers, said they initially held a meeting with representatives from the different classes.

“It kind of went from there. We started just talking about different things,” she told village trustees during their latest meeting.

They did an online survey that got the ball rolling, with many graduates saying they would come back for a mega-reunion.

“So many people are so excited to be coming back to our village because they still have family members, and a lot of families are making plans,” Ms. Collins said.

She said as planning continues, the event became something more than class reunions. It was, she said, “supporting the village and finding ways to keep it sustainable, and it’ll be economic development. That was one of our big things is people that come here are going to be doing lodging. They’re going to spend money in our village. We have other things that go on in our area that aren’t really being spent, so this is something that we’re really looking forward to.”

Since they started promoting the event online, Ms. Collins said they have 50 people who are originally from Massena, now spread out around the United States, who are getting involved, along with those still living here.

“So, it’s really great for getting ideas from everyone around,” she said. “So, it’s not just going to be a party. People are thinking a bit more about people wanting to come back our community and support our hometown.”

The event will begin the evening of Aug. 5. With 10 classes holding a reunion, 10 local establishments have been booked for the evening. There will also be a double shotgun golf tournament taking place in Massena that day.

Aug. 6 will start with a memorial walk at the John Story Trail. The trail has been reserved for an honor walk for classmates who have died, and their family members will also be invited go walk. Class representatives are assembling an accurate list of members from their respective graduating classes.

There will also be tours of the school, and Nate Lashomb is organizing an old-fashioned sidewalk sale downtown. Vendors who want to participate will pay a fee that will go toward revitalization of the Schine Theater. In addition, the Massena Rotary Club will hold a special pancake breakfast that day.

“Right now they’re looking for a location,” Ms. Collins said.

That evening, a block dance will be held on Water Street, with the block from Phillips Street to Glenn Street closed off during the event. Double Axel has been booked for live music, Jerry Manor has agreed to be the master of ceremonies, and Spencer Beckstead will be the disc jockey. Food and beverage trucks are also being arranged.

The final day will be a day of relaxation at the beach to wrap up the weekend in a laid-back manner with friends.

Ms. Collins said they would like to continue the mega-reunion tradition in the following years and have talked to different class representatives.

“They might be interested in taking it over for the next year,” she said.

Mayor Timothy J. Ahlfeld said he appreciated the energy and effort that was being put into the planning for something that could become an annual event like Potsdam’s Summer Festival. That, he said, would give people a reason to come back to Massena in the summer and enjoy the activities.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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